Batelco CEO leaves; former boss steps in
Manama, May 21, 2013
Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) said Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al-Khalifa had quit as Group CEO and his predecessor would temporarily re-take the helm.
Sheikh Mohamed became CEO in October 2011, having previously served as deputy chairman. He replaced long-serving Peter Kaliaropoulos, who became Group Chief Executive Officer for Strategic Assignments.
Batelco has now appointed Kaliaropoulos as chief operating officer and he, along with a three-person committee, will lead the telecom operator until a new CEO is hired, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. The committee comprises three members of the company's board.
Sheikh Mohamed has left the company with immediate effect. Batelco did not give a reason for his departure.
"Due to the separation between Batelco Group CEO and the Company, Batelco’s chairman Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa has announced that a supervisory committee and chief operating officer (COO) have been appointed to lead the operation until a new group chief executive officer is appointed," the Batelco statement said.
“The Batelco Group has become a major communications company with direct and indirect investments across 16 geographies following the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC). These companies are led by seasoned chief executive officers with a vast experience in the telecommunications field,” Shaikh Hamad noted.
The company has suffered a profit slump largely blamed on tougher competition at home. It competes with units of Kuwait's Zain and Saudi Telecom Co as well as about 10 internet providers.
Batelco, majority government-owned, has reported declining profits in 11 of the past 12 quarters, with 2012 net profit down 22.2 percent from a year earlier.
The slump has pushed the group to expand abroad and in April it concluded a deal to buy Cable & Wireless Communications' Monaco and Islands Division, putting Batelco in 10 new markets. It also owns Jordanian telecoms operator Umniah, 27 percent of Yemeni mobile operator Sabafon and minority stakes in internet providers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. - Reuters and TradeArabia News Service